As Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura make their way through the Gulf of Mexico, the Texas Hurricane Center is encouraging Texans that may be in the path of the storm to be prepared. THC offers the following advice to help residents be prepared.
- Make sure you have an emergency supply kit handy. Pick up extra non-perishable food and water – including supplies to make sure your pets have food and potable water in the event of an emergency.
- Establish a family communication plan that includes making sure everyone has important contact numbers, knows where to meet if separated and that important documents are available that will facilitate access to benefits like health, life and flood insurance.
- Sign up for your community or county warning system. The city of Katy (KT Alert), Harris County (ReadyHarris) and Fort Bend County (FBC Alert) all have emergency alert systems that will text residents who sign up for them. Waller County uses the Code Red system for its emergency alerts.
- Much of the Katy area and Greater Houston is prone to flooding. Plan evacuation routes in case it becomes necessary to leave home and go to a shelter, friend’s home or family member’s home.
- It is too late to purchase flood insurance that would provide coverage for damage caused by Hurricane Marco or Tropical Storm Laura. However, readers should make certain they have their flood insurance premiums paid and up to date. Insurance agents can help review flood insurance policies and general information is available through FEMA which manages the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Those who may need assistance during a natural disaster should register for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry – also known as STEAR. This includes people with disabilities, communication barriers, special medical needs or special circumstances which can make navigating a disaster especially difficult.
- Important documents such as insurance policies, social security cards and other related files should be filed in a waterproof container that can be easily picked up and taken if a resident needs to leave the home. Password-protected, digital copies of those documents should also be backed up on a thumb drive or other secure digital means.
- Move valuables up high in the home and make sure items that can blow away are secured outside. Gutters should be cleaned out to allow water to flow off the home properly and culverts and yard drainage should be cleared of debris.
- Follow weather alerts and check on disabled or elderly family members, friends and neighbors.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include information regarding Waller County's emergency alert system.